Defense attorneys for a Scott County man accused of killing his parents asked a judge on Monday to suppress statements the defendant gave police.
James Anthony Gray, 40, told police he got into an argument with his parents and shot them with a firearm his father had brought into the living room, said Detective Roger Persley of the Scott County Sheriff's Office. Gray told police he did not recall what the feud was about.
Circuit Judge Paul F. Isaacs did not rule in the case Monday, but the hearing will continue in Scott Circuit Court on Nov. 19. Gray's trial is expected to start Jan. 4.
The bodies of James E. Gray, 63, and Vivian Gray, 55, were found the morning of April 26 in their home not far from the Grant County line. James Anthony Gray was later charged with two counts of murder and tampering with physical evidence.
Gray went to the sheriff's office on Oct. 20, 2007, because detectives wanted to talk to him about an unrelated forged will, Persley said.
Detectives placed pictures of the crime scene on the walls of the interview room and made up evidence against Gray in the deaths of his parents, Persley said.
The detective said Gray was crying as he confessed to the crime and was "very emotionally upset."
Defense attorney Rodney Barnes suggested that Gray had a lawyer, Fred Peters of Lexington, and should not have been questioned without him present. Barnes also suggested through his questioning that law enforcement offered to throw out the death penalty if Gray confessed.
Rosa Rowland, who was dating Gray when his parents were found dead, and two other friends of the defendant testified that Gray called them from jail after he was arrested. He told them police were threatening him but he did not remember committing the crime. The witnesses testified that Gray told them police were offering to take the death penalty off the table.
But Scott County sheriff's detectives said they did not recall any mention of the death penalty during the October interview with Gray. The detectives also testified that they were not aware Gray had an attorney in the criminal case until after he was arrested.
Lexington lawyer Fred Peters, who was representing Gray in matters related to his parents' estate, testified that he would have also handled criminal matters if Gray was arrested. Peters said he never allows his clients to talk to law enforcement without him being present, but he did not recall specifically telling Scott County detectives not to talk to Gray.
Peters said he was shocked to hear Gray was arrested following a confession because he did not know how the detectives interviewed his client without his knowledge.
"That wasn't supposed to happen while I was involved," Peters said.
Persley said Gray never asked for an attorney during the interview. Persley said he read Gray his Miranda rights several times.
Persley said Gray was still upset following his arrest and continued to cry a little, but "it appeared like he was relieved."